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Skins Quotes 9/6: M. Shanahan/K. Shanahan/Haslett

McKissic for the win

Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


September 6, 2012
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On safety Josh Wilson:
“There were no setbacks. He practiced and didn’t miss any plays so that was a good sign.”

On nose tackle Chris Baker:
“He went full practice today.”

On guard Kory Lichtensteiger:
“He went full practice today. There were no setbacks and hopefully there won’t be any tomorrow. Anytime somebody has been in the system for a year or two years, obviously it helps. So if you do miss any time, you have a good feeling when you come back of what is expected of you within the system and what your responsibilities are in your second or third year.”

On the success of the Saints offense in the past few seasons:
“To have the success they had, you’ve got to have it all. You have to have a great scheme. You got to have excellent personnel and great quarterback play. Their quarterback is as good as it gets in the game and makes very few mistakes. He has pinpoint accuracy and knows the strength and weakness of defenses. He does a great job of putting them in the right place at the right time.”

On Saints tight end Jimmy Graham:
“Anytime you’ve got a good supporting cast like excellent wide receivers and you’ve got a guy that is 6’7” going against linebackers and safeties, sometimes they are a physical mismatch.”

On if there is a new style of tight end emerging in the league:
“Everybody has got different things they do at tight end and some guys are physical tight ends and do a great job in the blocking scheme but they are not very good receivers. There are a few guys who are great wide receivers but they don’t block. Then you have old-fashioned tight ends who do both. It’s hard to find a guy that will do both. If you get a guy that is 6’7” that could run and is pretty physical and will block as well, it’s a rare commodity.”

On the difference between calling plays for a rookie rather than calling them for a veteran:
“You better not call the same game with a rookie as you would with a five- or 10-year veteran. What you try to do is get a feel for what they do best and what they are most comfortable with. You never know if you are behind or ahead what you can do relative to dictating how you call plays or when you go into a two-minute situation. I think if you look back through history, you don’t want that rookie quarterback to have to win games all the time. That’s why you’ve got to play with a great defense and hopefully have a great running game to take a little bit of that pressure off of that quarterback.”

On what quarterback Robert Griffin III does well:
“He does a lot of things well. I think everybody knows what a great arm he has. He is a worker. He studies football constantly, but there is a learning curve going against different defenses and trying to adapt to NFL personnel as well. I look forward to seeing him get his opportunity to see what he can do.”

On the passing of former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell:
“I had a chance to be around him a little bit with all the times we played Cleveland when I was in Denver, so I had a chance to get to know him pretty well. I always liked him. He was a first class guy who always treated me well and always had time to sit down and talk. When you’re an assistant football coach, not a lot of owners do that, so I consider him a friend.”

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
“I think he has done a great job working through his injury. [There are] always growing pains coming off an injury like he had. I think he has adopted well and now we have a chance to see him in game situations. I think he has to prove that he can play and help your football team win. I think everybody could see the type of talent he has. He is big and strong and can come out of a break extremely well. He is all the things you look for in a receiver, but you still have to do it on game day and hopefully he does that. The great thing is we have some competition there. We have a lot more competition there than we did a year ago, so if one guy goes down, we have a lot of depth.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On his preseason assessment of the team:
“I’m excited about the guys. We’ve got a good group of guys and you never know really until the season really starts because we’ve been shuffling a lot of people in there through the preseason. I thought we had a good preseason. I thought we were consistent, moved the ball pretty good, scored some points and I hope it continues Sunday.”

On the biggest improvement in quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“It’s a little bit of everything. When you’ve got a guy who has played in an unconventional offense his whole life and comes to a little bit of a different one, everything’s new to him. The main thing with Robert is that he’s gotten better in every area as we’ve gone along. The saying we always says is, 'You get better or you get worse,’ and Robert has continued to work at everything. I think he’s gotten better in all facets. “

On if having Griffin III, tight end Fred Davis and wide receivers Pierre Garçon and Joshua Morgan allow him expand the playbook:
“In some ways, but in other ways it doesn’t. You don’t have to do as much; you don’t have to be as creative sometimes when you’ve got some guys who can make some plays. You just want to get the ball in their hands – however that is. You don’t have to go above and beyond to think of something that’s about the coach – just get the players the ball. When you’ve got a lot of guys like that, they feel they can make some plays and it makes my job a lot easier.”

On if he is more confident this year than last year:
“Yeah, I feel a lot more confident. I think we’ve improved our personnel each year we’ve gotten here. I definitely feel better this year than I did last year. And our second year I felt better than we did the first year. I’m excited to see these guys.”

On his confidence level in the offense based on preseason practice:
“We pretty much ran everything in the preseason. We’ve seen most of it. When we didn’t do a lot of reps and stuff, we see it out here [in practice] every day. We don’t tackle out here, so that’s the only thing that you miss. I have a pretty good feel for what to expect from these guys and I’m excited to see them do it.”

On how Griffin III has changed since the draft:
“I actually only got to spend one day with him before the draft. I got cut pretty fast, but he came in knowing nothing and now I think he knows a lot – knowing nothing is in terms of our playbook and everything. He has played a lot of football. Like I said earlier, the main thing with Robert is that the stuff he hasn’t gotten, he works his tail off, so he’s gotten better in every area. Some areas he’s ahead than others. Some areas he needs to continue working on. Anytime a guy works like he does, it’s a matter of time.”

On what has surprised him about running back Alfred Morris:
“When you see him on tape, he had a lot of running skills. He was on a team that struggled – Florida Atlantic. But when he ran the ball, he ran hard. He could put his foot down and he’s a violent cutter. The thing I’ve been impressed with the most is that the game hasn’t seemed too big for him. He’s looked the way in practice every day as you guys have seen in games. You never know with a rookie and how they’re going to play in the games. Is it going to be too big for him? Is it going to take him some time? On game day, Alfred hasn’t missed a beat. I’ve loved his demeanor.”

On how comfortable he feels with Morris in pass protection:
“I believe a lot in Alfred. I believe in all our guys. Any time you’re a rookie, it’s all about reps. He’s got a lot of reps in practice but he hasn’t got a lot of reps in the games. He’s going to see some stuff he hasn’t seen before. You’re always a little nervous of that – when you get rookies in that situation. As far as Alfred – he’s tough, he’s physical, you’re not going to be scared of anybody and he works his tail off, so you know he’s studying and stuff. I know Alfred will do as good as he can.”

On if getting bigger at wide receiver changes the way he calls an offense:
“Not really. I think size is always something you want to have, but I think it can be a little bit overrated. You need guys who can separate and make plays. If your whole offense is just throwing jump balls and stuff, then I’d say it makes a huge difference. We’ll throw some balls up here and there, but it’s usually when a guy’s covered. If he’s big, he still has a chance to come down with it. I think it gives the quarterbacks a little more confidence. It’s always nicer when a guy is covered to throw to a bigger body. But you’d always much rather prefer that guy to be open, so getting open is the most important thing. Guys with more size – they can come down with big plays.”

On how comfortable he is with knowing what Griffin III can do:
“I feel real comfortable with it. I think he does, too. We’ve put him through everything. He’s tried everything. We know it’s a process with a lot of things. There’s nothing that we would give up on at all because the guy is capable to do everything. But there are definitely some things he excels in more than others. I think that will be a process throughout the year. You don’t want to throw everything at him Week 1 because there’s enough pressure on him. You’ve got to have other guys to step up. You want him to go out there and play loose and play fun and be him. You don’t want him out there thinking. If you’re thinking, you can’t be yourself. I’m confident Robert can keep it pretty simple, go out there and make some plays.”

On what he is confident Griffin III will be able to accomplish:
“Robert is capable of doing everything. There’s nothing in there that you can’t do because of him. He’s capable of doing everything. Going in to a first game, you don’t want to put all that pressure on him. You want to make sure that you try to put him in the best situation possible, so you want to do the stuff that he is the best at. If the game dictates it and you need him to do something that maybe isn’t his best thing, if we need to do that to win, we’ll do it because it’s not that he can’t do anything. You want to make him confident going into the game and make sure everything you’re asking him to do he feels is his best thing.”

On if Griffin III impressed him during the learning process:
“You see the talent on tape, so you know he’s capable of doing everything. The thing that’s been the best about him is he’s very hard on himself. When he doesn’t get something, he’s not the guy to make excuses. He’s not a guy to be like, 'I just can’t do it.’ He’s a guy that says, 'Hey, let me get that again. Give that to me tomorrow. I’ll figure it out. I need it again.’ That’s what exciting about coaching him.”

On how frustrating last season was compared to this season:
“I think that’s challenge for coaches every year. You never know what’s going to happen with injuries. Even though I feel strongly that we’re a much improved team, from a personnel standpoint, you also never know until the season. I can tell you that for sure after the year. I’m definitely optimistic about it. It’s exciting to be a coach. I was excited last year going into it. I thought we started out real fast. I thought we did some good things on offense last year at the beginning of the year. I expect to do the same this year and I hope we can be a little more consistent in keeping that throughout the year.”

On having one workhorse running back as opposed to leaning on all three:
“I don’t think that there’s any philosophy. There’s no set way on what you do. You put the guy in who’s going to help you win the game. We have three guys who are all capable runners. It doesn’t matter to me which one is in because I think all of them are capable. Some guys do some stuff better than others, but you go with the hot hands. Whoever you think is doing the best, you keep them going. You want to keep them fresh, so you rotate guys in. It’s never really a planned rotation but I always expect all of three of them to play.”

On preparing Griffin III for the noise level in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome:
“All domes are loud. So for all domes, it’s tough from a crowd noise standpoint, especially when it’s his first game. You work on crowd noise out at practice. It’s part of it. It’s almost like that every other week in the NFL. Especially Week 1, going to New Orleans and knowing what they’ve been through, you know they’re going to be amped up. You know it’s going to be as loud as can be. It’s just something you have to deal with.”

On how he has improved as a coach:
“I think I’ve grown and the more you get reps as a player, the more you get reps as a coach, the better you get. It’s pretty easy when everything’s going right to be a good coach. When things are going bad, what do you do? It’s tough at times. But I feel I have learned a lot from these past two years, how things are. You feel like you can do anything, how to fight through it and how to improve it. When you can figure those ways, you’ve really got to grind it out and really think how to help your players out. Each experience you get and each situation you get, you become better as a coach. I think my experience here and what I’ve been through has really helped me.”

On specific areas in which he has improved:
“All aspects – dealing with players, play calling, when to call things, what your players are capable of doing. When you know what you want to do to attack a defense, but maybe your guys can’t do it, so you’ve got to do something else… I mean, just finding different ways. I had three years as a coordinator before I came here and those three years were pretty simple. I don’t know about simple, but everything was clicking at Houston. We’ve been together for a while and we were staying pretty healthy. We really never had a hard time ever moving the ball. It’s more about, 'Hey, we’ve got to do what it takes to win.’ Here, we’ve had some ups and downs. If everything was easy, I don’t know how good you’d be. When you go through hard stuff, it’s what you learn from it. You either get better or worse from a situation and you’re always trying to be better.”

On his vision for this season:
“It changes every year. That’s also what I’m learning the more years I’m a coordinator. Your vision – there’s no one set offense. Your offense is what your players can do and what they do best and that will change every year. Stuff changes because of your quarterback. Stuff changes because of your O-line. It will change because of your wideouts, your running backs. It’s always evolving. It will also change because your defense doesn’t catch up. You need to study tape too. You’ve got to know football. You’ve got to know defenses, study it, know where the weaknesses are and how you’re going to attack it and make sure however you want to attack it, your players are capable of doing it. I think we are in the right spot right now and we’re just looking forward to getting these guys out there.”

On continuity along the offensive line:
“I think it’s really important. I think football is not an individual sport at all. The O-line is as much of a team position as any position on a team. You have a good line when five guys know how to play together. Some places they have some good individuals, but if they don’t play together, a lot of issues happen. Our five guys have been banged up. They weren’t all out there during the preseason, but they are five guys that have played together at some time. I think those guys are all staying healthy and I think they can be a really good group working together.”

On if guard Kory Lichtensteiger is ready for the Saints:
“I don’t know. I think that we’ll see on Sunday. It’s his first week out here but at least he’s out there getting ready to go.”

On if he holds his breath when Griffin III runs the ball:
“Yeah, always. You always want to protect your quarterback in this league. These guys hit pretty hard. I’m definitely not going to tell him not to run because I think he does it pretty good. But we’ll try our best to not get him hit too hard.”

On the difficulty of calling protections with the Superdome’s noise:
“You can call it in the huddle. I mean, it gets hard, but I’ve never been a situation when you can’t hear in a huddle. It’s kind of tough to hear, but sometimes you usually can’t hear anything at the line. It happens in a lot of stadiums, in the majority of stadiums, when you can’t hear, especially when you’re in a dome. So that’s part of football. I think football is the biggest sport where home field advantage does matter as opposed to basketball, hockey and stuff like that. It’s a big deal, but you’ve got to learn how to do it. You’ve got to practice with it. You have to go into those situations expecting not to hear. So, you’ve got to know what the calls are even if you can’t hear them.”

On the number of times he may change his play calling during the course of a game:
“You adjust throughout the game, but going into the game, you’re pretty locked in to what you want to do because you want the players to have an idea. You want them to know what you’re thinking, what you’re expecting to call in certain situations. That’s what we put them through all this week. If we have the reps, they know what looks they’re expecting. It’s the first game of the year. Really, no one knows what to expect. So it’s the first thing you’re looking for is throughout the first quarter, throughout the second quarter, what adjustments are made at halftime. I think that’s when coaching becomes most important – just being able to look at stuff and hoping you can communicate with your players on the sidelines. And if you’ve got to make adjustments, you can do it.”

On the difficulty of selecting which receivers made the 53-man roster:
“It was real difficult. Anytime you’ve got that many players, I don’t know what the number is, but you’ve got eight players who can play in the NFL, it’s a tough position. No matter who we let go, you’re letting go a guy who can play in the NFL. When that’s the case, it’s tough. But that’s what we’ve been trying to get to for a few years, so it was a good talk to have.”

On former tight end Chris Cooley’s performance in training camp:
“I thought Cooley was solid. I thought he came back he looked healthy. He’s one of my favorite players that I’ve ever coached. I love him as a person and as a player. I thought he was doing a solid job. He helped us out at fullback when Darrel Young went down and got us through a few good games. I thought he was having a good camp.”

On how the tight end position has changed in the NFL:
“I think it depends on the team. I think a lot people say that because you see teams like New England and the Saints with Graham using those guys more like wide receivers. There’s a lot of pretty good athletes who are playing tight end these days. A lot of them were going to play basketball. A lot of them are finally realizing they can be better football players. And you get some athletes out there with size and people are learning how to utilize them. Not everyone’s got something like that, but when you do, you’ve got to do some good stuff for them.”

On tight end Fred Davis:
“I don’t want to compare Fred to any of those guys because Fred is not exactly like those guys. He’s Fred and Fred is a guy who can be great in the pass game, but Fred’s as good of a blocking tight end as anyone I’ve ever been around, so that’s what I really love about Fred.”
On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
“I think he’s back to where he was. Hank started out slow last year with the lockout and being a draft pick, so he spent those first few weeks just doing practice reps. He started tearing it up on scout team for a few weeks and then we finally got him in there. I think the first game he got in was [against] San Francisco where he didn’t get much. Then he got a start versus Miami. He had one of the best games as a receiver of the year and then he got hurt. He went through a hell of a rehab with a hip surgery, which really can hurt a lot of guys. But he came out at training camp and took all the reps. He’s trying to get back into it. It takes a while to get into football shape, but I feel he’s right where he was when he got hurt.”

On what he looks for to determine the readiness of Hankerson:
“[Getting] in and out of cuts, coming off the ball, how long he can keep the speed up, how fast does he fatigue… When you do feel healthy, you can look healthy for a few plays, but can you for a few quarters? Just things like that. I think he’s improved each week that we’ve had him.”

On how much wide receiver Santana Moss has improved:
“Huge improvement. I’ve been so happy with Santana since the first day I saw him when he came back. Santana’s been one of our leaders here I’m sure way before he got here, but definitely in the two years I’ve been here. I’m really excited for Santana this year.”

On if he saw a major difference in Brandon Banks as a wide receiver this season:
“Yeah, I did. I think everyone knows how talented he is to get the ball in his hands. He really came in with a more detailed mindset at the receiver position [and] has a much better understanding of what we’re doing where I feel confident that he can play at any position. He can help us out. I think I saw him come in to help us out of the squeeze at running back during the last preseason game and he’s capable to do any position. You’ll see him at fullback eventually, I’m sure. [Laughter]”

On how much wide receiver Aldrick Robinson has improved:
“A ton. Aldrick is as talented as anyone. He keeps becoming a football player like he showed in the preseason games, especially that Chicago game. You guys can see the skills, and he’s got the skills to be as good as he wants. It’s just about doing it every time, every route, every play.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On if he’s concerned about his secondary against the Saints:
“Well, first of all, they’re a heck of a football team. But we’re not concerned. We’ve got good players in the back end and the guys that are playing are going to play for [injured safety] Brandon [Meriweather]. They’ll fill in and do a good job. They played last year and did a nice job for us and are a little more experienced even this year. The guys we’ve got I know will do a nice job. We have a good plan against them and we will just go out there and execute.”

On safety DeJon Gomes’ coverage:
“I think DJ is improving every time. There are people who forget at Nebraska he was more of a dime-in-the-box type of guy. He’s really good around that box and he’s learning to play in the back end. I thought he showed great improvement in the offseason. He just needs reps. Like I said, I thought he did a nice job this whole offseason – OTAs, minicamps. He did a nice job.”

On Saints quarterback Drew Brees:
“He’s a great football player. Obviously, the guy breaks the all-time passing record for a single season in a year. The things he does…He’s fun to watch on film from the standpoint that he gets the ball out of his hand and knows where to go with it. Obviously, he has a great understanding of their scheme so there’s not much he hasn’t seen over the years. You go back and look over the last four or five years of film and it’s the same scheme basically. He has a great understanding of it. Along with that, he has really good football players around him.”

On if Brees is hard to sack because of his offensive line or his own skill:
“I think it’s a number of different things. It’s the scheme because they do a good job of protecting. They have a great, quick game and he has a great recognition with knowing where to throw the ball. I think it’s a number of things. And they have big offensive lineman. They’re big and massive up front and do a good job. I think it’s a combination of a bunch of different things.”

On the importance of Madieu Williams to the safety position:
“Madieu is really a smart guy and there’s a reason we wanted to get him. He does a nice job. He runs the back end. He’s kind of like [linebacker] London [Fletcher] is in the front. He still has a lot left in the tank. He can go play. He started a bunch of games in this league and is very productive. He’s been to the Pro Bowl, so he’s a good football player.”

On if he has been surprised by Williams:
“No. He’s exactly what we saw. I watched him for a number of years when he was in Cincinnati, and went to Minnesota and then was a big-money free agent and then he went to San Francisco. I’ve watched him over the years and I always thought he was a good player.”

On what adjustments it will take for the rookies to play in the Superdome:
“Well, you’ve got to communicate and it’s not easy. It’s loud. Even when you’re on defense, it’s loud. So you have to do a great job of communicating and the offense understands that. We’ve been working on it. We as a defense understand that you have to have your hand signals. You’ve got to communicate because against this type of offense, you have one mistake and that turns into a touchdown. It’s a great challenge for any football team that goes down there. Being there all those years I was down there, it’s a great advantage for the home team.”

On coaches using different language after the Saints bounty scandal:
“You are who you are and you speak the way you speak. I just talk the way I always talk. You always talk about doing a great job tackling and make sure, if they have really good running backs that run hard, then you have to do a great job of tackling – those types of things. I think people have more of an understanding about how you say things. But the game is still about getting to the quarterback and bringing him down and disrupting receivers at the line of scrimmage and trying to make plays on the ball – so, however you verbalize that.”

On DeAngelo Hall playing at safety during the preseason:
“I thought he did a good job. We didn’t give him a lot of reps, but we used him in there in certain segments. I think he is the type of athlete that someday – like a Rod Woodson in Pittsburgh – that if he ever does lose his speed that he can move there. I don’t think it would be a hard transition for him after watching him during the offseason.”

On what Hall needs to work on to transition successfully to safety:
“Again, it would be that you just have to keep working at it. He just hasn’t done a lot of it. Even in the scheme that we have, he does play some safety in certain situations.”

On what he has seen from defensive end Jarvis Jenkins during the summer:
“I think Jarvis is getting better and better every day. You’ll see improvement every day. I think he’s had a great week this week leading up to this game. I think he’s really improved. For a guy that sat out the whole year with an ACL [injury], coming back is not an easy task and he’s a hard worker, which is the No. 1 thing. He got back on the grass fast. He’s really, really improved every day. Just putting the pads on for someone who hasn’t had shoulder pads on in a year, that takes some time to get used to. Having a helmet on, your ears hurt for months. It’s a transition that you have to get used to and I think he’s done a great job. He’s going to be a good football player.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s improvement:
“Remember that Ryan didn’t have an offseason last year. He walked in and he had two weeks of training camp before he got hurt, so he missed the first couple weeks. Then, he hadn’t played in a couple games and lined up and played. I thought he did a great job last year; I really did. I think he has really good cover skills for a big guy. He’s really smart, besides all the other stuff – his motor, his pass rush ability, he’s strong – he’s got a lot of good things. I think he feels a lot more comfortable doing those things this year after having a year under his belt. I know he does. It’s the same with the guys up front.”

On Kerrigan’s preparedness to go up against players like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham:
“Graham is a heck of a football player and he can do a lot of different things – kind of like Gronkowski with his passing and cutting under balls. I don’t think anyone is really prepared for a 6’6”, 260-pound guy that can run like that. We do the best we can on him. Our guys are competitive and I think will do a nice job on him.”

On the differences in nose tackle Barry Cofield this year:
“He’s just comfortable. Barry kind of analyzes a lot – very, very smart guy, a Northwestern guy. He analyzes things, but he stopped doing that now and he’s just playing. I think Barry has the ability to be the best nose in the league, by far, not even close. He is powerful, he’s athletic, he’s smart. He’s got a lot of good attributes…He can do everything.”

On how Cofield has grown as a nose tackle:
“Like I said, he’s a smart guy. He studies a lot of film and he looked at guys from Pittsburgh and Baltimore and Green Bay and San Francisco and studied a lot of those guys.”

On trying to confuse Brees:
“I don’t think there’s anything that he really hasn’t seen. Drew is a really good football player. And then you’ve got other things you’re concerned with. You’ve got a great tight end, you’ve got a full of great running backs, you’ve got really good receivers, a great offensive line. They’ve got the whole package. Drew, to me, is the kind of guy that you really aren’t going to trick into anything. He’s seen everything and he deals with it and gets the ball out of his hands unbelievably fast. I just think everybody is going to have to play at a high level, about as good as you can play, to slow this team down.”

On tackling Saints running back Darren Sproles:
“It’s everybody. We’ve got to do a great job of tackling in this game. They got Chris Ivory and the Heisman Trophy winner [Mark Ingram] and Pierre [Thomas]. They’ve got a lot of good running backs that can run hard and are shifty and we’ve got to do a nice job of tackling, but not just those guys. They’ve got big receivers. They’ve got fast receivers. As a whole, we got to do a good job tackling. They’re going to catch some balls and move the ball a little bit on us. We understand that. If we can do a good job of tackling and hold them to minimum gains, we have a chance.”

On linebacker Brian Orakpo:
“He’s been practicing well. He had that one scare in the Chicago game, but I expect him to be ready to play.”

On cornerback Cedric Griffin:
“I thought he had a good preseason. He’s a very competitive guy. He’s tough as nails. He’s an in-your-face type of guy that can run. He’s a big guy. I thought he had a good offseason so I’m kind of excited about watching him play.”

On the players’ comfort level with his defense:
“I feel great about them. I thought we had a heck of an offseason. I thought we did a nice job in the run game. I thought we put pressure on the quarterback. I thought everything we tried to accomplish in the offseason we did a nice job in. Obviously, we want to keep improving in all areas – run game, pass, everything – obviously take this into the regular season and hopefully have a really good game this week and hopefully keep rolling with it.”

On relying on the front seven after the injury to Brandon Meriweather:
“We kind of rely on them a lot anyways. I think they’re a very good group. We feel good about that group up front. They did a nice job in the offseason and hopefully they can do it when we get going here in the regular season. They’ve got a great challenge this week.”

On defensive end Stephen Bowen:
“I thought he had 12 games last year when he was outstanding and then when he got hurt he kind of fell off at the end last year. Last week, I thought he looked like he did the first 12 games of the season where he was picking up guards and throwing them around and putting pressure on people and playing physical. I was kind of excited for him because I didn’t see it early in training camp. He was another one trying to get back to 100 percent. He looks to me like he’s ready to roll.”

On his 2005 season in New Orleans:
“You really don’t know — nobody really knows — what that team went through that year. It brought back some bad memories last week when the hurricane hit. I felt bad for the people down there, really down south in the lower lying areas. I felt bad for those people because it was like déjà vu seven years later or whatever. I felt for those people down there. That was something that wasn’t easy on the organization and they did a nice job coming out of it and obviously winning the Super Bowl, putting a heck of a football team together, and obviously having the quarterback was a big piece. I’m glad for those guys. I’m glad for Mr. Benson [Saints owner/chairman Tom Benson], [Saints general manager] Mickey [Loomis], all the guys who were down there – Devery [Henderson] who we drafted and Lance Moore and Will Smith and all those guys because they were part of it.”
 

China

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Michigan State

Safety Josh Wilson? I knew with Meriweather and Jackson out we were thinner at the position, but I didn't realize Josh Wilson had been moved to safety. ;)
 

Burgundy Burner

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Nice to see that Haz has confidence in Madieu - I don't. He looked ragged in the preseason games. Just hope he pans out and that this secondary can keep it together with the personnel that they have on the field. Otherwise, QBs will have a big party in our secondary each week.
 

Goaldeje

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I always thought his name was pronounced "Muh-Doo"
But thanks to the Game Preview Guide, I now know it's pronounced "Muh-Dee-Oh" !
Yeah. I'm still trying to figure out if he is the big cross dressing guy in all those movies.
 

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As long as we don't have Doughty at FS covering the middle of the field I think the backfield will be OK. Not a stong unit of the team, but decent.

Gomes is 23 and as a #5 pick hopefully he can improve as Haslett indicated with more reps. It sure would be nice if the team can find starting players outside of the first few rounds, especially at safety where few teams spend mega-dollars finding solutions.

Ultimately I think the Redskins could move Cedric Griffin to safety if Richard Crawford comes on at cornerback. But that wouldn't happen until mid-season at the earliest.

Griffin is a solid tackler but with 2 ACL reconstructions he has obviously lost some speed and that makes him a liability in deep coverage on the outside.
 

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